After more than a month of holiday frenzy at the mall Customer Service desk things are back to normal. Right after New Year's Day the seasonal calendar with extra hours came down off the bulletin board in the office, replaced with the regular leaner schedule. By yesterday all the schools were back in session, and the regular mall walkers were stopping by the desk to say they were glad to get back in their routines.
Eleven months out of the year I start at noon on Tuesdays. During December that changed to 11:00, which meant I had to miss my weekly Piloga class at the gym. Today, I was able to get back to it.
What's Piloga (AKA Pi-Yoga, or piyoga)? It's a combination of Pilates moves and yoga poses. The Pilates helps with abdominal and core strengthening and the yoga lengthens muscles and increases flexibility. I always feel better when I walk out after a session. The Piloga class starts at 10:00, and runs for one hour. I can get my exercise, dress for work in the locker room, and run one errand before my shift starts. There's no time to shower, but I do it first thing in the morning and the class doesn't leave me too sweaty.
Today at 9:55 I was standing in front of the group exercise room waiting for the previous class to finish so I could go in and claim my section of the floor with my mat. It felt good to be there. As I waited for the class to start I chatted with other "regulars" that I hadn't seen for the last month.
Pilates is all about the core muscles. After a month I expected to have trouble doing the exercises but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Except for the roll ups.
In theory, they're supposed to be a smooth curl up from a prone position on the floor to a seated position, then back down one vertebrae at a time. Last year I'd worked up to doing six good ones at a time. Today, though, I felt like I was back at the beginning; my movement was jerky, and I had to cheat and use my arms to get all the way up. We did two sets, separated by some stretches. The second set was even worse than the first; my already-tired muscles refused to cooperate.
The class ended in the traditional way with a period of relaxation and meditation. I think today that was my favorite part of the hour!